“The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett opens with 9-year-old Mary Lennox living in India. As a result of her mother’s neglect and her servants heeding to her every whim, Mary can only be described in the beginning of this book as sullen, helpless, spoiled and self-centered. After she is orphaned, she comes to England to stay with her emotionally distant uncle in his giant house on the Yorkshire Moors. The great house is mysteriously filled with secrets- locked rooms which she is not permitted to enter and strange crying sounds down one of the corridors.
Having nothing at all to do, Mary is forced to play alone outdoors where she discovers the most curious mystery of all: A locked-up garden to which no one is permitted to enter. Fueled by curiosity and wonder, Mary begins the quest to unlock these mysteries only to discover that the process is awakening her emotions and gifting her with a new zest for life.
How did Delia enjoy it?
Delia loves to play “pretend” and “The Secret Garden” provided her with plenty of fodder for her imagination. I happened to buy a copy of the book that came with a necklace with a pendant shaped like a key and she enjoyed making it part of our nightly tradition to put on the necklace before we’d read our chapter every evening.
Worth noting: some of the characters speak in a Yorkshire accent which is written in a way that was slightly hard for her to understand, so most of the time I would read the Yorkshire accented dialogue in plain-old- Midwestern USA English and just execute it with different vocal inflections.
Some nights, Delia would ask me to read more than one chapter because she HAD to find out what happened next, so all in all, I think that gives this book two strong thumbs-up!
By the way, “The Secret Garden” is one of the Classics that you can download for FREE on your Kindle!